Friday, October 26, 2018

The Keeper of Lost Things

Book: The Keeper of Lost Things
Author: Ruth Hogan

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—

Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancĂ©e, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?-Goodreads

Review: Anthony, The Keeper of Lost Things, has been collecting random items for years. After his death, his housekeeper, a divorced lonely woman named Laura, is tasked with trying to match the items with their rightful owners. Told in alternating time-frames, we follow Laura in the present day and Eunice, a woman who goes to work for Bomber, a publisher in the 70s/80s. Both narratives come together at the end of the book. 

Like many books written with different timelines, I found myself really enjoying the Eunice/Bomber years. I loved Eunice, I loved Bomber and I loved their friendship. Their friendship also sparked some good discussion in book club as to the nature of their relationship. Is friendship enough for some people or do you "need" romance too? Some of us felt sorry for Eunice while others felt she lived the life she wanted. Bomber's sister was quite the character and I was very happy to see her last act in the book. 

The present day narrative with Laura was not as enjoyable. I found her almost devoid of any real personality and I was not emotionally invested in her at all. The ghost storyline did not seem necessary to the story. 

Overall, the Eunice/Bomber plot saved this book for me. I did like how Hogan tied the stories together at the end. This was a good book club selection as it sparked some good conversations.   

Grade: 3/5

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